It was a quick trip from our hotel to Q Entertainment where we had an early morning appointment with Mr. Rez himself, Tetsuya Mizuguchi. We discussed quite a few subjects that my esteemed colleagues will be filling you in on later, but I'm going to concentrate on Rez as, much to my delight, I was given the honor of being the first person outside of the Q offices to actually play it.When Rez first came out for the Dreamcast, I played it extensively and still even plug the old girl in every once in a while for the sole purpose of playing Rez. I've beaten the game quite a number of times so when Mr. Mizuguchi fired up the game for us to watch I got a great rush of nostalgia as I heard the familiar music start to play. He played through the first level of the game with predictable ease and as he got to the boss he turned to me and gestured towards the controller. I was instantly filled with a mixture of elation and terror. Here I was in a room with one of my idols playing his own game in front of him, surrounded by co-workers and being tasked with a boss level. But, I rose to the occasion and took the chair offered me by Mr. Mizuguchi and went in for the kill.
I was immediately impressed at how sharp everything looked. With the relatively simple graphic style of a game like Rez, you might think that HD wouldn't do much for it, but the difference was obvious from the very beginning. The controls, while still in the early stages of development, were very smooth and I actually found them to be much easier to deal with than the Dreamcast's. Having the rumble built right in to the controls without the purchase of the Trance Vibrator was a great addition as it was something I hadn't been able to try before. The music also sounded great, and I was told that all the tracks were being remastered for the full 5.1 Dolby experience. I managed to make it through the whole boss level like a pro, only devolving once and when it was all over I was rewarded with a clap on the back and a handshake from Mr. Mizuguchi.
Rez HD is going to be a great addition to the XBL lineup and will give players who formally couldn't get their hands on it a chance to play for the first time. It will also be terrific for old fans who will be able to experience the crisp new graphics, widescreen and remastered music creating a new way to enjoy an old game.